The NotWedding has three main goals that drive what we do: to inspire brides, to promote small and local businesses and to encourage strong and committed marriages.

We are excited to announce that is helping us accomplish that third goal by donating a copy of marriage counselor Dr. Gary Chapman’s book Things I Wish I’d Known Before We Got Married to each bride who attends The NotWedding. Hooray!

We also work towards this goal by incorporating an emotional ceremony into the event that reminds guests that after the wedding comes a marriage which also requires some planning! Below is an article written for by NotWedding guest Candice Moore that explains further:

If you are, or ever have been, engaged, you may be aware that people you haven’t even spoken to in years come out of the woodworks to offer you “wedding inspiration”. It was the same for me, and I obliged them as they recalled details from their weddings some twenty years ago, or informed me of venues where a friend of a friend got married that I just had to see. I knew with certainty that they were all well meaning, but when I was handed a small white envelope concealing tickets to the local bridal show inscribed with the message “Have Fun!” I knew I was in trouble.

In a strange world of fluorescent lights, seemingly endless rows of vendor booths, and women clawing their way over each other to get a sample of cake, I lost my will to even plan a wedding. I left that day with a bag full of glossy flyers, enough business cards to give an entire nation paper cuts, two trampled feet, and an overwhelming feeling of disappointment.

When The NotWedding came along, I was a bit hesitant to surrender to its claims of being different than the “typical” bridal show, but I am forever glad that I did. It was true; The NotWedding was a breath of fresh air. The event is created to mimic an actual wedding, complete with a ceremony and a dance-party reception.  Guests can actually see the gowns, touch the linens, and experience what their wedding could be like if they employed any of the vendors involved.

The ceremony was officiated by a talented spoken-word artist, who proclaimed the reason for marriage; its purpose, its holiness, the way it was designed to take two separate parts and make them one. The “NotCouple”, who was actually a married couple that had agreed to play the role of bride and groom for the evening, regard one another with such an earnest love that the audience couldn’t help but be swept away in the moment. And there, amidst some of the most beautiful décor, table settings, flowers, and gowns I’d ever seen, I found my inspiration once more. Yes, inspiration for planning a wedding and all of the elements involved, but more so, inspiration for my marriage.

At the heart of the NotWedding and its founders is the hope to inspire brides and grooms to not only prepare for a wedding, but for the marriage that follows. The poignant message of the NotWedding encourages us to remember not only which vendor you loved, but also the one you love. The NotWedding is currently selling tickets for their March events, which will be held in Atlanta, San Diego, and Orlando. If you seek inspiration, visit their website at to learn more about the event. And may you, too, plan for a marriage that is more beautiful than any wedding.

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